Making a wish come true
By Cesar Millan
I had a special opportunity to work with the Make-a-Wish Foundation to make one young girl’s wish come true. I have been fortunate enough to work with the Make-A-Wish organization in the past, and I am always very excited and honored whenever I receive a call from them. It fills me with such happiness to be able to spend time with these courageous young people and hear their incredible stories of hope and perseverance. This week, I met Grace from Hawaii and learned all about her story of battling leukemia.
Grace was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia in May 2008. She was undergoing treatment for the cancer when she caught a terrible case of the swine flu a year later. Due to her weak immune system, the flu took over her lungs, making it impossible to breathe on her own. She underwent medical treatment, and in only two weeks—a miracle in itself—Grace was making a rapid recovery. She began to walk again after 14 days of complete bed rest and was breathing on her own again. She is a true fighter and inspiration to me.
Although Grace is still battling cancer, she has a bright and positive spirit about her that everyone can sense—especially the rescue dogs she works with on a regular basis. Grace is a natural dog trainer and owner. She has not only trained and raised her own dog, Olivia, but she and her family have rescued and rehabilitated nine other dogs from a local Oahu shelter as well.
From the moment I met Grace, I could sense she had a balanced and positive personality. Grace has gone deaf due to her illness, but even though we couldn’t communicate with our voices (and I could barely communicate through sign language I learned, although I tried), I immediately understood her energy. Even Junior knew that she expressed a positive and calm energy and was not hesitant to give her a big lick on the face when he first met her. She is a true leader.
Grace is not only an inspiration to me because of her strength, but because of her dedication to the things she loves: dogs. She has not let anything get in her way of helping to rescue and rehabilitate dogs. No matter how tired or how sick she is, Grace continues to help those who are helpless.
I would like to thank Make-A-Wish for giving me the opportunity to meet Grace and her wonderful family. They will always remain in my thoughts and prayers. And in a way, Grace was actually the one granting me a wish: to help me continue to live in the moment and understand the beauty of life. She is a true hero.
Watch video of Grace's visit below: